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Tim Tebow often rose above the competition.
It's a long way from Makati City to the NFL, but Tim Tebow has done it, and along the way he might have become the greatest player ever to wear the orange and blue.
The youngest of five children, Tebow was born in The Philippines, but moved to Jacksonville at an early age. He had an aptitude for both football and baseball, and by the time his senior year arrived, the Ponte Vedra Beach Nease standout was, along with Mitch Mustain and Matthew Stafford, one of the top quarterback prospects in the country.
Tebow finished his prep career with a then-state record of 98 touchdown passes, a mark later broken by his eventual replacement at UF, Ocala Trinity Catholic's John Brantley (whose 99 touchdown passes was later topped by Gainesville Oak Hall's Will Indianos). After seriously considering Alabama, Tebow signed a national letter of intent with Florida, where his childhood idol, Danny Wuerffel, won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship a decade earlier.
As a freshman, Tebow backed up Chris Leak and primarily was used when UF needed a late-down running play. And in that season's 41-14 BCS Championship Game victory against Ohio State, he rushed for and threw for a touchdown.
He took over the starting role the next season, becoming the first-ever sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. That said, the season wasn't completely perfect, as Florida struggled to an unGatorlike 9-4 record.
Tebow was the Heisman favorite entering his junior year and ended the balloting with the most first place votes. However, he wound up finishing third to Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.
Still, that was a trade Tebow was willing to make, as UF ended the season topping Bradford's Sooners, 24-14, in the BCS title game (which took place in Miami). That came a few months after a home loss to Mississippi where the quarterback made a memorable postgame promise to lead his team to play harder than any other.
At the team's national championship celebration in The Swamp, Tebow announced he was coming back for his senior year. And that season he led the Gators to a Sugar Bowl victory and finished fifth in the Heisman voting, giving him a remarkable three top-5 finishes.
Tebow finished his college career 661-of-995 for 9,285 yards with 88 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also carried the ball 692 times for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns.
He was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft (25th overall) by the Denver Broncos. A backup for all but three games as a rookie, Tebow finished last season 41-of-82 for 654 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He also carried 43 times for 227 yards and six scores.